Briefs: Gray Stone Day students earn national recognition

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 13, 2022

Two Gray Stone Day School students have been selected by The National College Board for the National Rural and Small Town Recognition Award. Jacqueline Steenwyk and Ethan Wilkins, both seniors, earned this recognition based on their academic achievements in school and outstanding performance on exams.


The College Board develops and administers standardized tests and curricula used by K-12 and post-secondary education institutions to promote college-readiness and as part of the college admissions process. Eligibility for the award includes achieving the minimum requested PSAT scores, earn a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher by the middle of their junior year, and attend a school in a rural area or small town.


A resident of Concord, Jacqueline is a member of the GSDS Swim Team, serves as a captain of the Mock Trial Team, and a member of the Quiz Bowl team, Spanish National Honor Society and National Honor Society. Ethan, a resident of New London, participates in Soccer, Basketball and Track and is a member of both the Spanish National Honor Society and National Honor Society.

RCCC presents student with Keith Wayne Cook Scholarship

The Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Foundation has awarded the first Keith Wayne Cook Automotive Scholarship to Ashley Goodrich of Spencer. The scholarship honors Keith Wayne Cook, a former Rowan-Cabarrus student with a lifelong love of automotive mechanics.

Cook, a native of Concord, possessed a rare and exceptional gift for mechanics. From tinkering on his tricycle at age 3, to his shop classes at Northwest Cabarrus High School and a continued hobby of auto repair, he was a lifelong lover of mechanics. He owned and operated Maximum Performance and Keith’s Dyno-Tune in Concord before moving on to a career of 23 years at Freightliner Corporation in Cleveland as a production team leader and quality control inspector. Cook studied industrial management at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.

The Keith Wayne Cook Automotive Scholarship was established by his sister, the Rev. Cathy A. Cook, a former communications instructor and department chair at Rowan-Cabarrus.

“My little brother loved nothing more than working on cars,” Cook said. “This scholarship will empower others to pursue their dreams in the field of auto mechanics – a perfect way to honor Keith’s life and the tremendous difference he made to everyone he knew.”

Goodrich is pursuing an Associate in Applied Science degree in Automotive Systems Technology. She enjoys working on cars in her leisure time, and she and her husband would like to open their own auto mechanics business once she graduates.

“Being chosen for the scholarship has made me want to work even harder,” Goodrich said. “It feels great that someone is cheering me on and is willing to donate their money to help make my life easier so that I can focus on my studies.”

The Rowan-Cabarrus Foundation, established in 1991, raises and manages funds for annual and endowed scholarships to assist students, as well as enhancing relationships that support the College’s overall mission.

“The Foundation is grateful to the Cook family for this generous scholarship to assist Ashley Goodrich as she works toward a career in automotive technology,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus. “Keith Wayne Cook’s passion for the field will live on as students are inspired by his talent and devotion to auto mechanics.”

West High chorus students selected for honors choir

Three students from West Rowan High School attended the NC Honors Chorus event at Wingate University on Nov. 6 and 7, .

Jakein Johnson, Ethan Cardwell, and Xavier Vaughters, all tenors with the West Rowan High School Honors chorus, were chosen to be part of the event. Out of 600 who auditioned, Ethan, Xavier, and Jakein were among the 176 selected for the State’s top Honor Choir to rehearse and perform in Winston-Salem. This is the first time in over 20 years Rowan County singers have been represented in the state choir.